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change the appearance of wp.com forum so it doesn't look like wp.org forum

  1. And actually, having just read through the sticky on .org and .com at the top of the forums, I don't think even that explicitly says that the .com forums don't offer .org support.

  2. I'm not trying to be snarky here.

    But how will a color change on com or org help those people who wander here who have never seen the org or com forums?

  3. But how will a color change on com or org help those people who wander here who have never seen the org or com forums?

    It won't. I thought I had already explained where I was coming from when I suggested visual differentiation and conceded that point to Mark and yourself.

    My goal was wordpress users who self-host to not post here but to instead post to the wp.org forum. And, as I'm an artist I thought that a visual colour scheme differentiation or even a big GREEN button might serve the purpose of at least, reducing the confusion for some. Perhaps I was wrong.

    I'm marking a thread "resolved" but as we all know doesn't stop the dialog. If there are other ideas that seem feasible people can post them.

  4. I think TimeThief has a great point. And to this British sense of humour, it that appears Young Mark plays the role of Admiral Lord Nelson on this occasion all too well.

    'I see no ships,' he says, with the telescope firmly held up to his blind eye ... lol.

    But the fact is that if the volunteers to the forum think there's a problem to solve, then there is a problem here.

    It shouldn't be that difficult to solve.

    Surely all we have to do is only make the wp.com forums accessible to folks who are logged in to wp.com, and wp.org forums only accessible to people logged in to wp.org.

    It's not exactly rocket science.

    But then again, I see no rockets ...

  5. Surely all we have to do is only make the wp.com forums accessible to folks who are logged in to wp.com

    that is the case with the forums at the moment. the problem is, wp.org users sign up for a wp.com account so they can post their queries here, not realising that they are in the wrong forums.

    to me, the problem begins with the name. the same name for the blogging software and the blog host, with a .org and .com differentiating it. not much of a difference to a newbie, i'd think! so i don't think colours would do the trick, either.

    we have a 7 Things To Know Before Posting in WordPress.Com Forums strategically placed, and we still get .org users here. i don't think adding more links in other strategic places around .com would make much of a difference.

    the thing is, .org users assume this is the right place to be. some do not realise that there is another kind of wordpress blog. some don't even know what's the meaning of a self-hosted blog, and that's exactly the kind of blog they have.

    so while the confusion takes up volunteering time, i think it's understandable. personally, even if i know an answer to a thread in the forums, if at that moment i don't feel like replying, i don't. that's the spirit of volunteering - to do it only because i want to. if i don't, someone else will eventually.

  6. energetic - I have been doing WordPress support since Jan 2004. Over 2 years of that was in the .org forums where we had many inappropriate posts about all manner of topics. I do have a clue here.

    If you get fed up of people asking, just don't answer.

  7. Sorry, Mark - you do a really great job and my sense of humour often gets me into trouble. No offence or slight intended.

    Investigating Sulz's answer, in fact the wp.com forums are visible to anyone at all on the internet, whether they are logged in to wp.com or not. Just try it - log out and load up the forum pages. You can read, but you can't post.

    What I was wondering about is whether you could make the wp.com forums actually closed so that you could only see and read them when you were logged in to wp.com. You'd have to be logged in to wp.com to be allowed into the forum pages, with exclusive entry via the dashboard.

    Since only wp.com subscribers could read the forums in the first place, there would be no wp.org bloggers physically able to arrive there by accident in the first place.

  8. energetic: when you used the word accessible, i imagined that one would have to be logged in to be considered accessible. i do realise that it's readable to people who are not logged in. that said, if we were to make it closed to people who are not logged in, i wouldn't be surprised if .org users sign up for a .com account to enable them to enter and post, because as i said they think they're in the right place.

    that's my two cents lah... =)

  9. to me, the problem begins with the name. the same name for the blogging software and the blog host, with a .org and .com differentiating it.

    Absolutely. Most newbies don't know or care about TLD distinctions; the vast majority of sites they visit are .coms, and perhaps nation-specific extensions like .co.uk or .ca. So when they need help with wordpress, they head straight to wordpress.com, register, and post their support question. Making the sites look different isn't going to solve that problem. All Automattic can do is rename wordpress.com (not going to happen) or centralise everything here so people don't have to remember whether they need .org, .com or .net (which long-term is probably the only feasible solution, given the ongoing decline of support on .org).

    The other consideration is branding. People associate WP with dark blue, grey, oversized serif fonts and all that other junk. If .com were suddenly to go shiny red rounded corners or whatever, it would dilute the brand. I am all for changing the appearance of these forums, because the wannabe-blog look irritates the hell out of me, but it's not going to stop .org users posting here.

  10. I don't think it's possible to always have everyone in the right place, especially when some -- as noted -- know they're in the wrong place but ask for help anyway.

    I wonder, though -- so many posts are devoted to: what's your url, do you have a wp.com blog, could you link your blog to your name, here's how -- would it be possible to redesign the new thread form to require the poster to fill in a blank to supply the url for the blog in question? It could help to provide faster help and better serve the questioner and might deter those who know this isn't where they should be.

  11. The only trouble with that is that some people have private or semi-private blogs and may not be willing to supply the URL. (A similar problem used to arise on.org, where helpers would demand a URL and be told 'well, actually the site is still in development/on a local server so that's not possible.) Some .org users may misreport as .com users because they're like 'yeah, I'm using wordpress' and don't know the difference between hosting and software. (These people exist.) Also, of course, many wordpress.com users are using their own domains so you can't tell from the URL alone whether they're hosted here or elsewhere.

  12. Right you are. I didn't even think about private blogs. And no, the url doesn't always indicate com or org, but it would be clickable to take a look and save the steps in between.

    Just a thought on the first cup of coffee.

  13. I can see how some believe having forum support for all things "WordPress" in one place might be a good idea -- but some volunteers will just continue to admonish newbies for posting .ORG questions in the .COM section and reminding them to read the sticky at the head of the forum next time while waving to other volunteers.

    So what's the difference between pointing them "over there" at .ORG or "over in that section" here? It takes the same effort and wastes the same amount of space.

    WordPress is a congealing brand: If you want Akismet protection on a .ORG blog you must get a .COM account first.

    http://faq.wordpress.com/2006/05/19/akismet-a-wordpresscom-blog-and-the-api-key/

    That can be confusing to people because .COM is wedded to functionality in .ORG -- but that's the way it is right now and wondering and uncertainty should be expected and helped, not condemned.

    Mark said if you get tired of referring people "over there" -- then don't answer the inquiry. Save yourself all that heartache and waving and only help on .COM inquiries.

  14. Mark said if you get tired of referring people "over there" -- then don't answer the inquiry. Save yourself all that heartache and waving and only help on .COM inquiries.

    This, however, seems unfair on the .org users. It's not their fault Automattic thought it would be a good idea to call both domains the same thing and don't care about the confusion it causes (because hey, two high-PR domains are better than one). And yet I feel bad about directing people to .org because that place is run by geeks who eat clueless newbies for breakfast, if they bother replying to them at all. Maybe we should just send them back to the host who offered them a one-click install and just assumed that the unpaid suckers over at WP would give them all the help they needed?

  15. Hi wank!

    Yes, I understand and feel the confusion for the matter you express for end users -- my instinct on the issue is to answer the questions wherever you find them posed if you know the answer -- be it .ORG or .COM with real sentences and steps, and not just a reply that includes a cold URL that translates to “figure it out yourself.” Then let staff and moderators move/reply as they see fit but don’t waste time and tide responding with “you’re in the wrong place.”

    The problem with the current "go over there" admonishment is that when people are new or lost they look for a friendly hand wherever they can find it -- and to show up here, register, and then get riddled with questions from volunteers they may not understand, or know how to answer, only makes for confusion and hard feelings for the person who came here with their palm open looking for a hand up instead of a put down or a push off for not being in the right WordPress niche.

  16. @boles

    but some volunteers will just continue to admonish newbies for posting .ORG questions in the .COM section and reminding them to read the sticky at the head of the forum next time while waving to other volunteers.

    I do not see this happening in recent times. Please post the links to the threads that you base this on.

  17. Valerie --

    You conveniently cut off the first part of my sentence:

    "I can see how some believe having forum support for all things "WordPress" in one place might be a good idea -- "

  18. @boles
    It's my understanding gained from our previous and current Moderators that we do not use signatures on the forum nor do we identify bloggers by their personal names. I'm wondering why you have failed to honor this tradition.

  19. but some volunteers will just continue to admonish newbies for posting .ORG questions in the .COM section and reminding them to read the sticky at the head of the forum next time while waving to other volunteers.

    In order to make this statement "some volunteers will just continue to admonish newbies for posting" one would have to allege that there are volunteers who are currently admonishing newbies".

    I do not see this happening in recent times. Please post the links to the threads that you base this allegation on.

  20. What I do see every day and what could have been evidenced by the huge "wordpress.org" tag that Mark removed is that wordpress.com volunteers re-direct lost wordpress.org bloggers to the correct forum every day and that they do so politely. I do not see any recent pattern of wp.com volunteers admonishing these folks for coming to the wrong forum.

  21. Valerie --

    Please post a link where it is the official policy of this forum not to use a person's real name.

    If you do a simple Google search:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=timethief+valerie

    Anyone can see you have often and regularly self-identified your entire real name with your timethief pseudonym.

    Why do you feel the need to hide your identity here?

    http://urbansemiotic.com/2007/03/06/why-do-you-hide-your-identity/

  22. I do not need to hide my identity here or elsewhere.

    The questions arising in my own mind are:
    (1) Why are you identifying me in this forum thread in any way other than the way I choose to identify myself?
    (2) And why am I the only blogger posting to this thread that you are identifying by their personal name?
    (3) What is your motivation?

    But setting them aside, what I see is that you have failed to respond to my questions directly pertaining to the subject matter above.

    Please respond to:

    but some volunteers will just continue to admonish newbies for posting .ORG questions in the .COM section and reminding them to read the sticky at the head of the forum next time while waving to other volunteers.

    In order to make this statement "some volunteers will just continue to admonish newbies for posting" one would have to allege that there are volunteers who are currently admonishing newbies.

    I do not see this happening in recent times. Please post the links to the threads that you base this allegation on.

  23. @boles

    That can be confusing to people because .COM is wedded to functionality in .ORG -- but that's the way it is right now and wondering and uncertainty should be expected and helped, not condemned.

    Please provide the links to the specific threads wherein we can witness wp.com volunteers "condemning" any wordpress.org bloggers who have come to the wrong forum.

  24. I apologize for forgetting to close the tag above.

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